"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
For all out there who yearn to toss off the bowline and sail away into the sunset, there's no better vessel to do so than a catamaran, either power or sail! Sailing catamrans have been around for centuries in various parts of the world, and they have a very good reputation for both stability and comfort. When the seas are high, and the wind strong, sailing in a regular v-bottom boat can get extremely disorienting with a 45 degree or more heel! The same wind will keep the catamaran flat and steady, and many of today's designs deliver an incredible amount of living space aboard, with up to 6 cabins for a 50 foot boat! A huge galley, saloon, and even office space can make you feel right at home!
Power catamarans are relatively new to the industry, but they have gained an incredible foothold in the boating world just in the last 10 - 20 years, and there are some really awesome long range "expedition" power cats! There are a lot more "funky" and different types of designs in the power category, and I'll try and cover as many of those as I can... Anything from big, long-legged "spider" shapes, to high-speed hydra-foils, to trans-oceanic Expedition vessels that will take you anywhere around the world!
Personally, I've always been more of a power boat man, but after visiting the Miami International Boat Show in 2009 I took a tour of the "South African Pavilion", where a number of South African catamaran manufacturers each brought some of their models to view... After looking over several that were nice, I fell in love with one particular sailing model. I thought that would never happen, but Royal Cape Catamarans really got my attention with their Majestic 530! Really an awesome and roomy boat, with a 200 nm a day capability to get out of bad weather quickly if needed, and it passed what I call "the elbow test"... That's where you stand below in one of the hulls where the cabins are with your hands at your side and your elbows out, and THEN proceed to move your feet into a little circle around and see if your elbows bump into anything... Well, on most other sailing cats, they failed miserably, but with this boat there was plenty of room! Just by looking at the size of the hulls from the outside, you can tell there is TONS of room and space down below, with all the comforts of home, and then some! This is more appropriately called a "condo cat", because as a liveaboard sailing catamaran, you really can't get much better in a 53 footer! For sailing cats, this is my number one pick...
I'm still torn between power and sail (about 75% sail and 25% power), but researching all the different choices out there in the industry will help me decide the perfect boat for myself! I hope that my efforts will also help you to appreciate the benefits and higher safety ratings of a catamaran vs. a typical v-bottom hull boat...
So enjoy the site, and I'll work hard at keeping it updated, so check back again and again! Aloha!
Jeffrey Ferris aka "Scubadoggy"